This data point from the latest CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll made my eyes pop:
77 percent of respondents said they were very confident or somewhat confident that Obama would make the right decisions in selecting his cabinet.
To say that the man is projecting confidence and disciplined deliberation would be an understatement. Anyone who watched Obama on 60 Minutes last night would understand this public perception (though the appearance could not have affected poll results). Take this exchange about the transition so far:
Kroft: Has this been easier than the campaign trail?Of course, I remember all the glowing stories about Bush's MBA management skills and the unparalleled discipline of the Bush team. Tis just a honeymoon. If Bill Clinton's murky finances scotch a SecState offer to Hillary, it may end fast. But better a fair start than the opposite.
Mr. Obama: Well, it's different. I think that during the campaign it is just a constant frenetic, forward momentum. Here, I'm stationary. But the issues come to you. And we've got a lot of work to do. We've got a lot of problems, a lot of big challenges.
Kroft: Have there been moments when you've said, 'What did I get myself into?'
Mr. Obama: Surprisingly enough, I feel right now that I'm doing what I should be doing. That gives me a certain sense of calm. I will say that the challenges that we're confronting are enormous. And they're multiple. And so there are times during the course of a given a day where you think, 'Where do I start?'
Kroft: What have you been concentrating on this week?
Mr. Obama: Couple of things. Number one, I think it's important to get a national security team in place because transition periods are potentially times of vulnerability to a terrorist attack. We wanna make sure that there is as seamless a transition on national security as possible. Obviously the economy. Talking to top economic advisors about how we're gonna create jobs, how we get the economy back on track and what do we do in terms of some long-term issues like energy and healthcare. And how do we sequence those things in a way that we can actually get things through Congress?